Negotiating Liberty: The use of Political Opportunities and Civil Society by Barbary State Captives and Guantanamo Bay Detainees

Cynthia Banham, Brett Goodin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    This article contrasts two distinct sets of prisoners who were held by foreign governments: sailors from the United States held captive in Algiers in the late-eighteenth century and British citizens detained in Guantánamo Bay in the early-twenty-first century. The article uses social movement theory to examine and compare the campaigns orchestrated by these men and their supporters, and the role of those campaigns in securing their freedom. It demonstrates the utility of social movement theory in comparing cases of foreign detention that transcend centuries, regions and communication technologies. We find that successful campaigns on behalf of citizens held captive abroad, and the timeline of those successes, are contingent on the exploitation of domestic political opportunities and an external event to trigger government action on behalf of the captives.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)171-185
    JournalAustralian Journal of Politics and History
    Volume62
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2016

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